Apple iPhone Addresses the Enterprise

Research in Motion Ltd.’s BlackBerry might win when it comes to the core strengths of e-mail and calendaring, but Apple Inc.’s iPhone appeals to the enterprise thanks to its intuitive interface, full Web browser and ability to support content-centric applications. And, the coming iPhone 3.0 software upgrade might go a long way to solving some lingering concerns that businesses might have.

An enterprise-ready iPhone is the word from Forrester Research, which has reversed its previous position that the device wasn’t ready for corporate prime-time. It offers several reasons for IT to embrace the iPhone, including:

“In this era of Technology Populism, where consumer IT is often better than enterprise IT, it sometimes just makes sense to give employees the freedom to choose the tools they want.”

“As anybody with experience on both iPhones and BlackBerry will tell you, the Internet feels natural on an iPhone and a like a chore on a BlackBerry.”

“[RIM, Microsoft and Apple] have set up wikis so that employees can support each other. ‘Our early adopters sometimes teach things we’d rather our iPhone users not know, but overall they provide better support than we can,’ said one person we interviewed.”

“In at least one case, an iPhone adopter found that the data plans for previous mobile devices were more expensive than the consumer plans AT&T is offering for iPhones. This company was able to reset its baseline plan pricing 30 percent lower for all phones because it supported iPhone.”

Whether or not Forrester is right in suspecting there is an enterprise need for the iPhone might not be fully explored until the launch of the iPhone 3.0 software, due this summer.

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